Home Theater Projector Shootout
Eight 1080p Projectors under $1500
The Vivitek H1081 follows on the heels of the impressive H1080FD, which was one of the first 1080p projectors under $1000. The H1081 aptly demonstrates that Vivitek has not lost its touch when it comes to making impressive, affordable projectors. The H1081's contrast and black level are great for dark-room use, while its whisper-quiet operation is appreciated in any small space. Bright cinema light output allows for large screen use or living room projection.
- Well-rounded projector
- Best audible noise
- 3x speed color wheel
- Color accuracy
- Lamp life
The Vivitek H1081's value proposition is not in any one feature, but a combination of many. The H1081 produces 795 lumens in Movie mode, which is a step above the Epson 8350, the Mits HC4000, and the Optoma HD20 if you need the extra light for large screens or ambient light issues.
Contrast is second only to the Optoma HD20, which ekes past the H1081 in three-dimensionality and overall impression of depth. The same goes for black level, where the two projectors are neck and neck. Overall, the H1081 and the HD20 are remarkably similar, though the two images have a distinctly different character to them; the HD20 appears more subdued and natural, while the H1081 has a more vivid aspect. It is not unpleasant, and with certain kinds of material (broadcast and animation, most notably) this slightly artificial character can be desirable. The other notable feature of the H1081 is its nearly silent fan, the quietest of any projector under review. Those contemplating a table mount will be happy to hear that--or not hear it, as the case may be.
On the other hand, color on the H1081 exhibits a subtle greenish cast, and the color controls feel less responsive than those of the competition. Adjusting tint can mitigate some of the effect, but not eliminate it completely. Once adjusted, this slight color tint is not noticeable except when viewing another projector side by side.
The H1081 also has the shortest lamp life of all the projectors, at 2,000 hours in Boost mode and 3,000 hours in Normal mode. Finally, the H1081 has a 3x-speed wheel, meaning it is more likely to cause rainbow artifacts than projectors with 4x-speed wheels. If you are sensitive to the rainbow effect, this could be an important consideration.
|Review Contents:||Introduction||Acer H7531D||BenQ W1100||BenQ W1200|
|Epson Home Cinema 8350||Mitsubishi HC4000||Optoma HD20||Viewsonic Pro8200|